Ranking the Los Angeles Angels Hitters by wOBA


Oh my God! Stats! My eyes…they just can’t…please, stop the madness!

Whoa. Easy there, buddy. Pump the breaks a minute, brosef, and chill out.

With the first half of the season slowly but surely (mercifully) coming to an end, it’s getting to that time of season where we can begin to take an objective look at individual performances relative to the rest of the team. And, in today’s case, I’m ranking the players based on the stat wOBA (Weighted On Base Average). Before we go any further, here is a brief definition, per Fangraphs, on what wOBA actually is. For the full shabang on wOBA, click the link in the previous sentence.

"Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) is one of the most important and popular catch-all offensive statistics. It was created by Tom Tango (and notably used in “The Book”) to measure a hitter’s overall offensive value, based on the relative values of each distinct offensive event."

All hits are not created equal, this is something that we all know. But how much more valuable one hit is to another in slugging percentage, according to Fangraphs, is wrong. Baseball statisticians have gone through as much baseball watching as a human’s eyeballs could possibly stand to figure out just how much more valuable a double is than a single. And since they have taken that time – and thus created this stat – I will defer to them in this instance.

So how do Angels hitters stack up against each other? here’s the list.

Thank goodness we can all agree that small sample sizes should be taken with a grain of salt. Amirite? Because, if not, the Collin Cowgill bandwagon would be overflowing with passengers right now, prompting the Anaheim, CA Fire Marshall to shut down that party bus for excessive passengers.

Mike Trout is a Golden God. This guy is not a Golden God. Mike Trout is.

If you did not click the link above to see the wOBA definition at Fanrgaphs, to the right, is general chart as to where a players wOBA ranks on the below average-average-above average scale. Below, is what the average wOBA per position and how it rates against the Major League average. (H/T to my buddy Andrew for being a wizard at these kind of things)

Kind of makes Trout look even better when you compare his snazzy .408 wOBA against the league average for left fielders of .322, and even better against center fielders (.317). Every Angels regular with the exception of Josh Hamilton, Alberto Callaspo and Erick Aybar is above the league average. And in the case of Hamilton and Aybar, that could change to just Callaspo with how well those two have been hitting of late (Hamilton, .306/.405/.722 over his last 10 games. Aybar, .324./.333/.405 over his last 10 games).

But this is where positional averages can be a real jerk. Mark Trumbo is well above the league average, but just barely above the league average where it concerns first basemen. Albert Pujols‘ .325 wOBA is below league average for both first basemen and designated hitters. Two overly offensive minded positions, that the Angels are just barely getting that positions average production out of it.

On the flip side, The positional adjustment when you look at Peter Bourjos‘ wOBA for the season (Yes, I do realize that he has only played in just under half of the team’s games) illustrates quite well as to just how good of a season Pete has been having with the bat when he is on the field (.373 to .317). It also pulls Erick Aybar back above league average – though just barely – when you compare his .300 wOBA to that of the league average for shortstops which is .293.

As uninspiring as some Angels hitters have been this season (see Hamilton, Josh and Pujols, Albert), the offense has not been the source of the Angels problems. As a team, they rank sixth in all of baseball with a .330 wOBA. An their wRC+ of 111 is tied for fourth in all of baseball. This has been a very good offensive team all season, which made writing this all that much easier to write. it’s when I get into the pitchers that I made need to inebriate myself beforehand.